If it weren’t for one special surprise (not so surprising to many of you), this week’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ might come across as a lot of set-up. Basically, the pieces are put in place for the mid-season finale next Sunday. With that in mind, it’s nice that the episode opened by giving fans a little hope, instead of the usual dishing out of despair.
He’s alive! Those of you who guessed that Glenn survived falling into a swarm of Walkers were 100% correct. This episode begins with a repeat of Glenn and Nicholas tumbling off the dumpster, and we clearly see that Nicholas’ body lands right on top of Glenn’s. Sure enough, those were Nicholas’ guts – not Glenn’s – that the Walkers ripped apart and ate. Glenn manages to crawl underneath the dumpster (the one dumpster in the world, apparently, specially designed with enough space for a human being to crawl under), where he waits it out until all the Walkers have wandered away. When he crawls out from under, someone throws a water bottle at him from above. It’s Enid, but she insists that Glenn leave her alone. Glenn follows her up into a building where she’s hiding out and demands to know if Maggie is okay back at Alexandria. Before Glenn can get an answer, Enid runs off.
Rick notices the same leaking of Walker blood through the Alexandria wall that Deanna walked by a few episodes back. He then climbs up to one of the lookouts, where Maggie has been diligently watching for Glenn. Rick tells her that they may have to clear the Walkers away from the walls instead of waiting for Glenn, Abraham, Daryl and Sasha to return. Rick then goes off with Ron and Carl to show Ron how to properly handle and shoot a gun. Once he’s done, Ron wants to fire some live ammo, but then concedes that it’s probably a bad idea with all the Walkers around and the fact that they don’t want to waste any live ammunition.
Rick sees Morgan visiting Nurse Leslie and tells him that he wants to talk. But Rick’s not the only one who wants to talk to Morgan. It’s a sit-down with Carol and Michonne as well. They want to know why Morgan refuses to kill and why he let some of the Wolves go free. Morgan explains that he believes that all life is precious. Rick asks in return if Morgan really thinks he’s going to be able to continue without spilling any blood. Morgan isn’t sure.
Glenn comes across the fence where Alexandria resident David (at least I think that was his name) was attacked by Walkers. He’s a Walker now too, stuck to the fence, so Glenn puts him out of his misery. Glenn notices and picks up the note that David asked Michonne to deliver to his wife if he didn’t make it back alive. Glenn finally runs into Enid again in an abandoned restaurant. She pulls a gun on him and insists that she’s not going with him. Glenn quickly disarms her and tells her he’s taking her back to Alexandria.
Back at the community, Rick has made a new friend (whose name I don’t think we ever get) to help him shore up the walls with wood braces. Meanwhile, Ron sneaks into the supply room and steals a bunch of bullets for his gun. The last we see of him this week, he’s sneaking up behind Carl. Uh oh. While this is going on, Spencer devises his own plan to get outside the walls by using a grappling hook and rope to inch his way over the mass of Walkers below. Of course, the hook gives way, and Rick, Tara and a few others have to spring to the rescue. Tara shoots a bunch of Walkers while Rick pulls Spencer up to safety. He’s pretty mad at Spencer for not consulting him before trying a plan, and even more mad at Tara for wasting bullets, although he apologizes to her later.
After coming across some of the green balloons that were left behind as markers for Rick’s plan to move the Walkers away from Alexandria, Glenn and Enid finally make it back to the community, only to discover that it’s surrounded by Walkers. Back inside Alexandria, Morgan makes his way back to Leslie’s office and asks her how their antibiotic supply is. He explains that it’s not for him, and Leslie follows him to where he’s keeping the captured Wolf. Carol sees this going on and, after dropping off baby Judith with Jesse, confronts Morgan and demands to know whom he’s keeping prisoner.
This week’s entry wraps up with Maggie spotting the green balloons (in a horrible CGI shot – was there some kind of ban on releasing real balloons on the set?) floating in the air and runs towards the gates, knowing it’s Glenn. No sooner does that happen than the church steeple (which we have seen falling apart all episode) collapses onto the wall, knocking it down and allowing hundreds of Walkers access to the community. Double uh oh!
It looks like next week’s mid-season finale will be full of Walker action. My early prediction: Dayrl, Abe and Sasha will return with their tanker truck and burn the zombies out, the same way those people Daryl met in the woods burned Walkers. Whether they can do that without burning Alexandria down in the process is another question.
I also have a bad feeling that the show-runners might decide to kill off Maggie just so viewers don’t get too happy about Glenn surviving. That would be a real punch in the gut to fans, though I’m sure many feel that Glenn surviving in the first place is already the show’s “Jump the Shark” moment.
What did everyone else feel about this episode, and what’s your reaction to the return of Glenn Rhee?